Robocalls on the rise: Americans get 18 spam calls per month, report says

USA Today Technology 3 days ago

The United States is again the eighth-most-spammed nation in the world and the annoying calls are on the rise, according to a new report. 

Americans received 7% more spam calls in 2019 compared to the year before, said Truecaller, a Swedish company that tracks spam calls, but hung on to their ranking from the last annual report

The report Tuesday comes after efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to crackdown on robocalls, which are the No.1 complaint consumers make to the agency. 

Truecaller found robocalls in the U.S. increased by 35% in the last year, despite the four major service providers offering tools to block unwanted calls and identify potential scams. 

Robocalls have gotten more sophisticated, said data analytics company Transaction Network Services, with some using the "spoofing" technique to avoid detection. Some scammers try to trick users into picking up a call that seems like it's coming from a neighbor. 

To prevent spoofing, the FCC has mandated service providers use caller verification at the network level to verify the legitimacy of a call. Providers have until the end of the year to implement the SHAKEN/STIR, or Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited standard. 

Brazil, which Treucaller ranked as the most-spammed-nation in 2019, received an average of 2.5 times more spam calls than the United States. Brazilians get about 46 spam calls per user per month, Truecaller said, while Americans get about 18.  

The U.S. did not rank in the top 20 countries affected by spam SMS in 2019, according to Truecaller. Ethiopians get the most spam texts, with an average of 119 per month. 

If you receive a robocall, the FTC's advice is:

1. Hang up.

2. Block the number. (Tips on how to do that.) 

3. Report it at

Contributing: Dalvin Brown, Madeline Purdue and Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY

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